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Quick thinking saves Salisbury woman from scam

By Shavonne Potts

Salisbury Post

Salisbury resident Barbara Harrison was determined not to get swindled. She used her wits to outsmart a potential scammer by giving him false account information.

Harrison received a phone call Monday afternoon from a man identifying himself as John Patterson of the National Verification Office.

The man asked for her checking account number and routing number to which Harrison gave him a fake number. She also recorded the phone call, asking him to speak louder and repeat what he’d asked her to provide.

The caller told her there was a glitch with the bank’s computer and he needed her to verify her information. He added that she would lose all of her money if she didn’t verify the number.

After he received the numbers, the call ended and he soon called again. Harrison again recorded the conversation. This time the caller asked who she banked with. She repeatedly told him that he should already have that information.

He continued to press her for more information, which Harrison didn’t provide.

The caller’s number didn’t appear on her caller ID, instead it showed “private number.”

Harrison brought the information to the attention of law enforcement officers.

Lt. John Sifford of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department said it was a good thing Harrison didn’t give the caller her personal information. He also advises anyone who receives a similar call to not give information, but instead call their bank and authorities.

Attempts to reach Harrison Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253 or spotts@salisburypost.com.

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